Richard Wolff on Uber founder’s $72.5 million home purchase while drivers strike for better wages


The Guardian newspaper, a British
newspaper (you can see why it might happen there), reports on the Los Angeles
mansion bought by a co-founder of the Uber car ride service. Here’s what he
paid: $72.5 million dollars for the house and the land. Why
is this interesting? Well, around the world for the last a year or more
Uber drivers have been demonstrating, striking, complaining that they’re taking
home ridiculously small amounts of money; $5, $10, $15 an hour and they’re lucky to get at the upper end of that range. We also just read this last
couple of weeks that the police in Los Angeles are again rousting up the
homeless from the little tent cities that they have established under the
freeways. Yeah, that’s America these days: screw the worker, screw the homeless, Why is that relevant? Because not paying Uber drivers so that they can’t afford a
home and have to live in a tent, or they can’t afford a decent living even if
they have home, that’s what’s necessary so that the Uber founder, the head of the
company, can live in a $72.5 million mansion. Here’s the
economics to understand: if you paid those Uber workers a living wage (what’s necessary to have a home and a car and to live a decent life) and if you
provided housing for the homeless, you have the money.
It’s all there it would just mean (and let’s cry for a moment) that the founder
the co-founder of Uber would have to settle, I don’t know, for a million dollar
house or maybe even a two million dollar house if we want to
reward him. But he couldn’t have a $72 million dollar house. That’s the cost to him.
And what’s the benefit? Doing something for tens of thousands of Uber
drivers and their families and more thousands of the homeless. You tell me
what your ethics, you r religion and your morality suggest is the way to go here.




Comments
  1. It's amazing how those who do all the actual work don't get any of the real benefits when it comes to financial resources. It's a broken system built off a small few prospering off the back of the working class

  2. sure you could argue that we should tax him more to help the poor, or even restructure the system entirely so he never would make that much money in the first place. but then there would not be an Uber or any new business or innovation. Why put in the sleepless nights and stressful hard work if there is not a large benefit. I'm not happy that these people are in a bad place but why is it on Uber lets put are money where are mouth is and we won't need to rich to help the poor.

  3. The rich, the bankers and the Republicans WANT IT ALL. FDR was able to scare them into sharing, but soon after they changed all the rules and propaganda to suit themselves. This time it will take a REAL revolution.

  4. I hate to tell you this but in socialist countries in East Europe if you took all your money and pissed it away on vodka you ended up just as homeless.

    As for the Uber guy – that's 24cents per American you'd be able to dish out, so unless you are fucking over this guy purely for social justice reasons I don't see much mileage in a revolution aimed at feeding the poor by shafting the handful of rich.

  5. Uber (and Lyft)is a service, not an employer. As far as I know Uber provides a connection with a driver and a passenger and also provides a convenient payment method for them. I think it charges too high of a percentage for those conveniences.

  6. As 4 of the LARGEST banks in the GREAT CHINE fail and becomes NATIONALIZED by the CHina GOV., the ECONOMIST, Mr. Kardashian Wolf, talks about a person buying a home. Why is Kardashian Wolf, not talking about Chinas failed banking system? I cant believe after 8 years of Obama that there are homeless people. Notice the word Obama never comes out of Kardashian Wolfs mouth. You see Kardashian Wolf will never talk about the Failure of Chine, it goes against his past videos praising how great China is. Kardashian wolf is very biased and does not disclose the truth to his viewers.

  7. When I first heard of Uber I knew EXACTLY where this would go. And why the hell politicians didn't step in in-favor of works is absolutely absurd and furthermore a validation of how capitalism and the vast majority of political elected dont follow through and work for the vast majority of this country.

    To operate a "taxi" service you need to be licensed. And many if not most taxi services especially in large cities are unionized.

    How Uber was able to come in and do the same job that taxis do yet not be required to be licensed is a total drop of the ball to not just the current taxi services and their drivers but also to anyone else wanting to get into the taxi services or even to drive for Uber for that matter.

    They knew what's would happen! They knew that the general public would sell out the taxi drivers and take a cheaper ride with Uber. They knew Uber would make millions of dollars on this. They knew Uber would continue to pay drivers less and less. Yet our political leaders let it happen.

    The general public needs to smarten up ALOT and realize you are slicing your own throats when you sell out your own kind just to save a dollar.

    … pay me now or pay me later.. sooner or later the general public loses when we support free capitalism in entirety

  8. This stupid professor apparently doesn’t understand the value and wealth of business ideas and mechanics that drives those ideas to generate supply and demand in the free market economy.
    You remain a permanent loser to look at the world from the perspectives of a Marxist oppressed loser like Wolff.

  9. $72,000,000 unfairly and equally handed to all 3 million good and bad drivers would be less than $30 each and the leader would be homeless and no one would order from Uber anymore, so who cares? Maintaining that house creates jobs for those who don't want to be homeless because they are not allergic to work. I think this channel should be called communism at work.

  10. Wolff acts like everyone is a slave. People have options in the u.s. Unlike the system he prefers like Communism where people have no options other than to comply or else. WTF

  11. Uber invests millions in self driving cars technology. When this happen, in a few years from now, will fire ALL of its drivers.

  12. Unfortunately the Guardian has turn to the darkside professor,joining the Murdoch band wagon smearing Jeremy Corbyn ,very much like Berine and your MSM.

  13. Your goodman professor and you have lots supporters around the globe including me in old England ,we got our own crazy times going on at the moment it's called Brexit and Boris Johnson.

  14. 72.5 million dollars for a house do you know what 72.5 million dollars is for poor countries ? that money can
    can secure a house and a car and a life time wage for millions of people, thats insane thats capitalism total insanity at its best

  15. screwing over the worker and exploiting them ..is not new , but it is certainly the new pot of gold for those without morals in trumps new america 🙁 There are great problems in london [in the uk where i live] where black cabs have all the checks , experience exams , and have to have their cars serviced to the nth degree , which are being massivelly undercut by uber , who run with very little running cost [for all those checks] 🙁

  16. The American system teaches its citizens to look up to the rich , as the only thing worth looking up to. Or to put it more bluntly, the American system preaches that if you want your freedom , you have to rob every one and make enough dollars to buy your way out of inherited poverty, or find yourself a tent.
    Now go build yourself a guillotine and chop the American system of poverty to bits.

  17. That is why America is the GREATEST NATION in the world…for Brave…the Free…capitalist.
    Prof. Wolff, the American Dream…they will not wake up until they run out of all the potatoes.

  18. Wealth is NOT Cool,it is disgusting as most struggle to survive, you guys are totally deplorable, makes me Sad to live on the planet with those collecting leverage thru stock market& real estate, you are shells empty of humaness

  19. Haven't you heard, Richard? Step one to bring a good capitalist is checking your integrity, morality, empathy and sense of ethics at the door.

    By that standard, I'm afraid I'll never be ridiculously rich. But I sleep well at night.

  20. Many transportation companies work this way. They hire their drivers as "independent contractors" and then shift all the expenses onto the driver, who supplies the vehicle, fuel, tolls, pays the insurance, pays the employment taxes, etc. People who do this type of work need to do a profit and loss statement every week and be sure to include all the expenses including wear and tear on the vehicle. If you calculate that you are only making $3 to $4 an hour or even less then its time to bail out.

  21. Absolutely agreeing with you…!!!…Is no more morality in business..!!..is just profit and the fight at the top level for the biggest "slice of the cake "…!!!!…Is depressing for people with sense of justice and common sense..!!!!!

  22. Because only few can stumble upon great fortune and thought that they are born to deserve it more than anyone else, what is moral ethics worth? They don't even understand what it means, sadly, they are the chosen ones and the only way to change is to curse them at massive scale based on the effects gathered by the global consciousness project.

  23. Doesn't this mean the contractors hired to work the land and build the house made $72.5m ? Should they have been paid less?

  24. I cannot fathom how someone sleeps at night doing that kind of shit. They probably sleep on the cash. And then you wonder why aliens don't land and say hello.

  25. Capitalism is the law of the jungle in reverse. It benefits the few of magnitude proportions. Trickle down economy is inherent within a capitalist system.

  26. This is what capitalism teaches .
    " I've got mine , so f*ck everybody else "
    They'd kick grandma's gold teeth out of her face to make a buck , and then some lowlife would make excuses for it and call it a business opportunity .
    Utterly shameful, I'm certain there is a much bigger picture to this lack of humanity taking place . What's happening is the results of habitual systemic abuse upon the people , and no pride in anything .
    They don't even know what pride is anymore , or what it means to have pride .
    It's a word that has lost its meaning, drowning in an ocean of human feces .
    Even the civilization that built the megaliths went goodbye , and they were much smarter than we are , if they disappeared ..so can we .
    They're so arrogant they think they're invincible and nothing bad will ever happen like a kid eating a tide pod then farting bubbles till he's dead . Sad , very sad.
    I hope this ship of humanity can make a course correction or we'll be gone like many before us .

  27. Millenials have a choice. Vote for the guy who offers you racism or the guy whos going to cancel thousands of dollars in student loans. Bernie 2020.

  28. Just fyi no one actually pays (in this case) 72.5 million. It's like your mortgage but with more zeros attached.

  29. Hong Kong GDP to b between 0 – 1 Percent and Offer and announces 2 Billion stimulus???? how come Kardashian Wolf is NOT talking about this? Oh wait, some millionaire bought a house, well that is more important. Kardshain Wolf, the economist, never talks about things against his pro socialist ideology.

  30. I'll just say what was on the tip of Richards tongue: we need to take down Uber and stop any globalist corporation from coming into existence.

    That's surely going to help the millions of people globally who's lives have been transformed by such companies. No income is better than $9 ph so long as the entrepreneur who revolutionised taxi services and provide a stable job to millions of people across the world, even developing countries (Vietnam before it was banned…to the dismay of the locals), doesn't get rich.

    What a disgusting individual this CEO must be to have the smarts to create a company which has created so many jobs and transformed the lives of so many people worldwide. Keep the workers penniless, as Richard implies. Capitalism solved. Everyone's lives improve! Right? Such wisdom from a man who never left university, has no experience of business (particularly small business which makes up the vast majority of employers in most of the developed world and are nothing like globalist corporations) and believes in a social political movement based on the feudal system…from the medieval times.

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